Saturday, 12 August 2017

St Ann's Square circa 1918

The scene is easily identifiable as St Ann’s Square sometime before 1918.

I can be sure of that because this was a postcard and it was sent in the March of that year. Judging by the number of cars I doubt that we can be much earlier than that, although I know there will be someone who will be able to use the make of car to firm up the date.

What I like about it is not only the obvious differences which mark it off as from another time but what makes it so familiar.  Take away the old cars, the horse and cart and the slightly odd looking fashionable straw hats and the square is very recognisable.

From the war memorial at one end to the statue of Richard Cobden at the other little seems to have changed. But look more closely at the buildings at the church end and they have faced some fairly drastic modification, losing much of the ornate detail from the upper floors and the cab shelter directly behind the statute of Cobden has also vanished.

And the nature of the businesses along this western side of the square are very different.  Back then there was a collection of Ladies’ outfitters, milliners, jewellers and shops specialising in glass, earthenware and more than one silversmith.   Quite a change from fast food outlets and stationer’s shops.

What makes the post card just that bit different was that it was sent from Morcombe to a Mrs S Basson in Northampton with the promise that Steve "had several views of Manchester of this was one of them."

Picture; from the collection of Rita Bishop, courtesy of David Bishop

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